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MS User

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MS User

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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Last Network Patch screenshot

MS User is a wide-spread spam e-mail message that claims to be upgrades for Microsoft-based software, but is really a virus. The virus' originating sender tries to primarily prey on novice users, many of whom do not know the difference between this and the legitimate Windows Update.

Sent out by an e-mail address in either the @msdn.com or @ms.com domains, the messages are sent to by e-mail to Internet users, many of whom are even Mac or Linux users. The messages are sent out with headers like "Last Network Pack". They recommend that "Customers should install the patch at the earliest opportunity." The e-mail messages promise that "You don't need to do anything after installing this item."

The "update" almost always applies to "Windows 95/98/Me/2000/NT/XP", which basically applies to all Internet-using Windows users. Legitimate patches, however, are offered by Microsoft itself, with a separate update for each version of Windows.

All links in the message link directly to legitimate pages on the Microsoft website, such as the Microsoft Technical Support and Microsoft Security Advisor webpages, giving readers a false sense of legitimacy in this viral hoax.

Known variants of the "update" messages

"MS User this is the latest version of security update, the "April 2004, Cumulative Patch" update which eliminates all known security vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, and Internet Explorer. Install now to protect your computer from these vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could allow an attacker to run executable on your computer. This update includes the functionality of all previously released patches."

Security update

Microsoft Partner this is the latest version of security update, the "April 2004, Cumulative Patch" update which fixes all known security vulnerabilities affecting MS Internet Explorer, MS Outlook and MS Outlook Express as well as three newly discovered vulnerabilities. Install now to protect your computer. This update includes the functionality of all previously released patches.

Avoiding lawsuits

The message ends in light grey text that: "The names of the actual companies and products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners." This sentence is to try and avoid or minimize the obvious copyright infringement caused by using the name Microsoft in large letters at the top of the message.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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